Monday, December 21, 2009

"...and in a stable cold & dark, Mary's little Boy Child was born." ---Jester Hairston from "Mary's Little Boy Child"

Friday, November 20, 2009

"The best things in life aren't free---they're priceless!" ---Marie Byars
Q: What's the most requested pop song at Notre Dame Cathedral?
A: "Gargoyles Just Wanna Have Fun!" (ouch!)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Laymen's Guide to Pregnancy Terms

Baby Most common pop song lyric
Baby Shower Actually, baths are recommended
Birth Canal Formerly known as "Love Canal"
Booties What's shakin' at the club
Cesarean Section Where Julius always sat at the Coliseum
Coach How you can afford to fly after Baby comes
Cravings Why you're sold on "Ben" and "Jerry" for baby names
Delivery Pizza or Chinese?
Due Date Librarians' top concern
Engorged Why your cups runneth over
Fatigue French for "overweight"
Fertilization Why you're growing at this rapid rate
Fetus "We're hungry!"
Genes What you won't be fitting into for awhile
Heartbeat Amount of time it takes to get pregnant
Lamaze L.A. Freeways
Maternity Synonym for "achy & tired"
Morning Sickness Bringing up dinner at breakfast
2 O'Clock Feedings No, not late lunches with "the girls"
Placenta Italian food made from cornmeal
Rocker Bowie, Jagger, Van Halen, etc.
Stretch Marks Groucho's taller brother
Umbilical Cord A real love connection
Vitamins Great Supplement to pickles & ice cream
Womb The best prenatal unit there is!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Moderate Manifesto

I'm one of those people who identify themselves as a political moderate, even a registered Independent. I'm one of those people both political parties seek, hoping I'll "swing" to their "side" without actually offering a platform that truly satisfies me. I happen to be a moderate with convictions, unlike the characterization some people make of "moderates", that we're people who can't make up our minds. This is one moderate's view of where she'd like things to go. Other moderates would weigh individual issues in alternately more conservative or more liberal ways than I do.
(1) I'm very proud to be an American. But I don't assume that we have to all agree to equally have pride in our country.
(2) My Christian faith is EXTREMELY important to me. Yet, I'm not lobbying for prayer is school. I'm much more concerned that my family and other Christian families are praying at home.
(3) I don't really want religion taught in school. I'm a moderately conservative Lutheran. I wouldn't want a strict fundamentalist Christian teaching the Bible in public school and possible strong-arming my children into their beliefs. And what if a person were in Utah and Mormons taught religion in public school because it was allowed? I don't want that for my children, either. Parents can pull their own Bibles off their shelves, dust them off, and teach religion very well at home devotions.
(4) We need for English to be our official language. We're a nation of immigrants from MANY countries, not just Spanish-speaking ones. I totally agree that our incoming immigrants should be offered English as a Second Language classes and coached into American citizenship and the English language.
(5) The strength and preeminence of our country in the world needs to rest more on our ideas than on our might. Our world is too interconnected and yet too fragmented for "might makes right" to work anymore.
(6) We need to provide some basic standard of living items to our citizens: health insurance, food, and green open spaces (parks) to maintain the bodies and refresh the spirits of all our citizens. This will give everyone a more equal chance to succeed. Beyond that, we still need to have a strong sense of personal accountability and responsibility.
(7) We have to accept that even though "all men are created equal" in regards to how they stand before their Creator, everyone is not gifted the same way. Because of this, not everyone will be able to rise to the same level of prominence. Some are more intelligent, some are more athletic, some are more artistic, etc. It's not realistic to expect that they will all attain the same standard of living.
(8) Even though we cannot expect the SAME standard of living for everyone, there needs to be a basic minimum set, below which we will not let working people fall, regardless of what sort of unskilled labor they might be doing. Not only is this basic and decent, it's good for the ongoing survival of a democracy. Democracies need strong middle classes, and ours is being eroded more and more into the very rich and the poor.
(9) BOTH guns AND abortions need limits on them! While I personally abhor ANY type of abortion, I do not believe that they will ever be outlawed. I also don't think so many people need to run around with AK-47's or concealed handguns. This is just crazy! No other country in the world allows this sort of thing. And it shows: we are an extremely violent nation by comparison. This being said, I'm still for allowing hunters to do what they do. It's just that neither the NRA nor NOW need to be setting the national agenda as much as they do. Especially not when you find out that the majority of the electorate IS more towards the middle on things.
(10) Abortion and Birth Control: While I would personally like my own children to remain abstinent until marriage, we live in a country where that is not everyone's morality. If we want fewer abortions, we need to talk more realistically about having people use birth control more consistently. It's great to teach abstinence in school, but teach about birth control, too. Parents and church youth groups can pick up on and emphasize the abstinence portion far better than public school programs can.
(11) People should not be "muzzled" from sharing their faith in public settings. But it should not be allowed to devolved into argumentativeness. At some point, we have to learn to "disagree without being disagreeable."
(12) People ACROSS the spectrum need to give some serious thought to this when they approach the topic of alternative sexualities. (And why would you shun someone who's not "straight", if you believe that's wrong, more than you would shun a "straight" person who commits adultery?)
(13) We need to slow the tide of immigration and stem the tide of illegal immigration until we can integrate the diverse population we already have. But we need to do these things in humane ways: Sheriff Joe marching suspected illegal immigrants through downtown Phoenix in chains is deplorable and unworthy of what it means to be an American!
(14) Our own citizens need to take those jobs illegal aliens are taking and attempt to get off TANF. On the other hand, we need to make sure our own citizens are paid a living wage and possibly supplemented indefinitely with food stamps and healthcare as long as they are working. (15) And NO job, if it's honorable, should be looked down on. No worker should be treated as if they are "less" because they're a busboy or a street sweeper. To be elitist towards American workers we perceive as "lower" is, to me, one of the worst forms of anti-Americanism there is!!! Everyone who works is a part of what keeps this nation ticking along, able to do greater things.
(16) Americans were once known for what was called "Yankee ingenuity." Let's apply that to green technology and get out in front of the world again in a new way!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Ideas to Live By

Written By Regina Brett, 90 years old, of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland , Ohio:
"To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most-requested column I've ever written. My 'odometer' rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:
1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will.. Stay in touch.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?'
27. Always choose life.
28. Forgive everyone everything.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood.
38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
39. Get outside every day... Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's,we'd grab ours back.
41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
42. The best is yet to come.
43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
44. Yield.
45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift."45-1/2. (added by Marie): Nothing really matters much more than "Jesus loves me this I know." And how? "For the Bible tells me so."
(Thanks to my long-term friend, Beth, for sending me this!!!!)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Common Consumables

"My works are like water. The works of the great masters are like wine. But everyone drinks water." ---Mark Twain, in his Notebook

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Musical Snobbery

"An unalterable and unquestioned law of the musical world required that the German text of French operas sung by Swedish artists should be translated into Italian for the clearer understanding of English-speaking audiences." ---Edith Wharton in The Age of Innocence; 1920

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Legal Eagles

As the Marx Brothers were planning to make a movie called A Night in Casablanca, Warner Brothers Pictures threatened legal action because they had made Casablanca five years before. Here are excerpts from some actual letters Groucho sent to the Warner Bros. legal department:

Dear Warner Brothers:
...up to the time we contemplated making this picture, I had no idea that the city of Casablanca belonged exclusively to Warner Brothers...It seems that in 1471, Ferdinand Balboa Warner, your great-great-grandfather, while looking for a shortcut to the city of Burbank, stumbled on the shores of Africa and...named it Casablanca...You claim you own Casablanca and that no one else can use that name without your permission. What about "Warner Brothers"? Do you own that, too? You probably have the right to use the name Warner, but what about Brothers? Professionally, we were brothers long before you were...

Sincerely, Groucho Marx

His letter, of course, confused the Warner Brothers' legal department. They sent a letter with a serious request for a plot outline (like there's ever much of a "plot" in Marx Bros. movies!). Groucho wrote back with a wildly fictitious outline. Being even more confused (and lacking any sense of humor!), the lawyers wrote again, saying they still didn't understand the story line and would appreciate Groucho sending a detailed story line. Here are excerpts from his third letter:

Dear Brothers:
Since I last wrote you, I regret to say there have been some changes in the plot our our new picture...I play Bordello, the sweetheart of Humphrey Bogart. Harpo and Chico are itinerant rug peddlers who are weary of laying rugs and enter a monastery just for a lark. This is a good joke on them, as there has not been a lark in the place for fifteen years...In the fifth reel, Gladstone* makes a speech that sets the House of Commons in an uproar, and the King promptly asks for his resignation...Humphrey Bogart's girl, Bordello, spends her last years in a Bacall house. This, as you can see, is a very skimpy outline. The only thing that can save us from extinction is a continuation of the film shortage.

Fondly, Groucho Marx

*William Gladstone was prime minister four times in the latter part of the 19th century, under Queen Victoria's rule and was the dominant voice of the Liberal Party. He made several rousing speeches in this capacity.
There were no more letters after this.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Being Happy

It is an aspect of all happiness to suppose that we deserve it. ---AEsop

Indeed, a person wishes to be happy, even when he lives in such a way as to make happiness impossible. ---St. Augustine

Friday, May 29, 2009

Ageless & Priceless

"Nature gives you the face you have at 20; it is up to you to merit the face you have at 50." ---Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel in Ladies' Home Journal (1956).

"The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age." ---Lucille Ball, Uncommon Scold (1989).

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Report from a Pastor Search Committee

(a typical American church trying to get the pastor they think they deserve):
We do not have a good report: we haven't been able to find a suitable candidate for this church, though we have one promising prospect.
Thank you for your previous suggestions. We followed up on each with interviews or by calling at least three references. The following is our confidential report:
NOAH: Former pastorate of 120 years with no converts. Prone to unrealistic building projects.
JOSEPH: A big thinker, but a braggart; believes in dream interpreting and has a prison record.
MOSES: A modest and meek man, but poor communicator; even stutters at times. Sometimes blows his stack and acts rashly in business meetings. Some say he left an earlier church over a murder charge.
DEBORAH: One word --- Female.
DAVID: The most promising leader of all until we discovered the affair he had with his neighbor's wife.
SOLOMON: Great preacher, but serious woman problem. (He had 700 wives & 300 common-law wives.)
ELIJAH: Prone to depression; collapses under pressure.
HOSEA: A tender and loving pastor, but our people could never handle his wife's occupation. (She was a prostitute; God had actually told Hosea to marry her as an "object lesson.")
JONAH: Told us he was swallowed up by a great fish. He said the fish later spit him out on the shore near here. We hung up.
AMOS: Too much of a country hick. Backward and unpolished. With some seminary training, he might have promise; but he has a hang-up against wealthy people.
JOHN: Says he is a Baptist, but doesn't dress like one. May be too Pentecostal. Tends to lift both hands in the air to worship when he gets excited. You know we limit to one hand. Sleeps in the outdoors, has a weird diet, and provokes denominational leaders.
PETER: Too blue collar. Has a bad temper, even said to have cursed. He's a loose cannon.
PAUL: Powerful CEO type and fascinating preacher. However, he's short on tact, unforgiving with young ministers, harsh, and has been known to preach all night.
TIMOTHY: Too young.
JESUS: Has had popular times, but once when his church grew to 5000, He managed to offend them all; and his church dwindled down to twelve people. Seldom stays in one place very long. And, of course, he is single.
JUDAS: His references are solid. A steady plodder. Conservative. Good connections. Knows how to handle money. We're inviting him to preach this Sunday in view of a call.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Laws of Ultimate Reality

(from an e-mail circular):
Law of Mechanical Repair
After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch and you'll have to pee.

Law of Gravity
Any tool, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible corner.

Law of Probability
The probability of being watched is directly proportional to the stupidity of your act.

Law of Random Numbers
If you dial a wrong number, you never get a busy signal and someone always answers.

Law of the Alibi
If you tell the boss you were late for work because you had a flat tire, the very next morning you will have a flat tire.


Variation Law
If you change lanes, the one you were in will always move faster than the one you are in now (works every time).

Law of the Bath
When the body is fully immersed in water, the telephone rings.


Law of Close Encounters
The probability of meeting someone you know increases dramatically when you are with someone you don't want to be seen with.

Law of the Result
When you try to prove to someone that a machine won't work, it will.

Law of Biomechanics
The severity of the itch is inversely proportional to the reach.

Law of the Theatre
At any event, the people whose seats are furthest from the aisle arrive last.


The Starbucks Law
As soon as you sit down to a cup of hot coffee, your boss will ask you to do something which will last until the coffee is cold.

Murphy's Law of Lockers
If there are only two people in a locker room, they will have adjacent lockers.

Law of Physical Surfaces
The chances of an open-faced jelly sandwich landing face down on a floor covering are directly correlated to the newness and cost of the carpet/rug.

Law of Logical Argument
Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.

Brown's Law of Physical Appearance
If the shoe fits, it's ugly.

Oliver's Law of Public Speaking
A closed mouth gathers no feet.

Wilson 's Law of Commercial Marketing Strategy
As soon as you find a product that you really like, they will stop making it.

Doctors' Law
If you don't feel well, make an appointment to go to the doctor, by the time you get there you'll feel better. Don't make an appointment and you'll stay sick.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Understanding Economics with Cows

...LONG-AGO CAPITALISM
You have two cows.
You sell one and buy a bull.Your herd multiplies, and the economy grows.You sell them and retire on the income.
AMERICAN CORPORATION
You have two cows.

You sell one, and force the other to produce the milk of four cows.Later, you hire a consultant to analyze why the cow has dropped dead.
VENTURE CAPITALISM (U.S. 2006-2008)

You have two cows.
You sell three of them to your publicly listed company, using letters of credit opened by your brother-in-law at the bank, then execute a debt/equity swap with an associated general offer so that you get all four cows back, with a tax exemption for five cows. The milk rights of the six cows are transferred via an intermediary to a Cayman Island Company secretly owned by the majority shareholder who sells the rights to all seven cows back to your listed company. The annual report says the company owns eight cows, with an option on one more. You sell one cow to buy a new president of the United States, leaving you with nine cows. No balance sheet provided with the release. The public then buys your bull.
U.S. 2009
You have no cows.
No one else has any cows.
The government buys you one cow
Which your children will pay for.

BUREAUCRATISM
You have 2 cows. The State takes both, shoots one,
milks the other, and then throws the milk away.


A FRENCH CORPORATION
You have two cows.
You go on strike, organize a riot, and block the roads,
because you want three cows.
A JAPANESE CORPORATION

You have two cows.
You redesign them so they are one-tenth the size of an ordinary cow and produce twenty times the milk. You then create a clever cow cartoon image called 'Cowkimon' and market it worldwide.

A GERMAN CORPORATION
You have two cows.
You re-engineer them so they live for 100 years, eat once a month, and milk themselves.

AN ITALIAN CORPORATION
You have two cows,
but you don't know where they are. You decide to have lunch.

A RUSSIAN CORPORATION
You have two cows.
You count them and learn you have five cows. You count them again and learn you have 42 cows. You count them again and learn you have 2 cows. You stop counting cows and open another bottle of vodka.

A SWISS CORPORATION
You have 5000 cows.
None of them belong to you. You charge the owners for storing them.

A CHINESE CORPORATION
You have two cows.
You have 300 people milking them.
You claim that you have full employment, and high bovine productivity.
You arrest the newsman who reported the real situation.
AN INDIAN CORPORATION
You have two cows.

You worship them.
AN IRAQI CORPORATION
Everyone thinks you have lots of cows.
You tell them that you have none.
No-one believes you, so they bomb the **** out of you and invade your country.
You still have no cows, but at least now you are part of
Democracy....
AN AUSTRALIAN CORPORATION
You have two cows.
Business seems pretty good.You close the office and go for a few beers to celebrate.

A NEW ZEALAND CORPORATION
You have two cows.
The one on the left looks very attractive.
A BRITISH CORPORATION
You have two cows.
Both are mad.

SOCIALISM
You have 2 cows.You give one to your neighbor.
COMMUNISM
You have 2 cows.The State takes both and gives you some milk.
FASCISM
You have 2 cows.The State takes both and sells you some milk.
NAZISM
You have 2 cows.The State takes both and shoots you.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Bargain Basement

"The New York Stock Exchange is now a 99-Cent Store!" ---David Letterman on The Late Show; March 10, 2009

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Quantities of Food

Q: "Where do mathematicians like to eat?"

A: "On multiplication tables!" ----anonymous children's joke

Saturday, February 14, 2009

EEEWWW!!!!!

Q: What has 2 tongues, 24 eyes, and smells bad?
A: A pair of old tennis shoes! ---Anonymous kids' joke

Car Troubles

Q: What happens to old car mufflers?
A: They become "exhausted"!!! ---Anonymous children's pun

Monday, January 5, 2009

Change of Fortune

"Don't forget---the stockholder of yesterday is the stowaway* of today." ---Groucho Marx in Monkey Business

*Stowaway, as in someone who sneaks aboard a ship without paying fare. (The first part of the movie, the Marx Brothers' characters were stowaways.)